Greg Jennings: Ranking the Best Fits for Star WR
When he's not shooting Old Spice commercials, Greg Jennings is tearing up NFL fields and making Pro Bowl appearances. For the first time in his career, however, Jennings is experiencing something new—free agency.
The question is, where should the 29-year-old playmaker end up?
Jennings is likely to command a market, even as he comes off of an injury-plagued season. As one of the top players available, he could even receive a major contract and become a key contributor.
While appearing on ESPN's NFL Live, however, Jennings made it clear that he will take his time in making a decision (via The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).
"I definitely have some destinations in mind and I'm going to keep those close to the vest," said the seven-year Green Bay Packers receiver. "But I'm definitely enjoying this opportunity to be a free agent. A lot of players don't get to experience this opportunity and I'm one that does. So I'm going to take my opportunity and visits when we get those lined up and I'm excited about it.
"I'm trying to experience it. I'm not one to jump the gun. I try to look at myself and believe I'm a pretty smart guy so I'm going to weigh out all my options and find someplace where my family will be happy as well as myself and I can thrive."
With this in mind, we've taken it upon ourselves to help Jennings weigh his options.
Some teams will give him the opportunity to compete for another Super Bowl ring in year one. Others will provide the chance to help a young quarterback make the leap from great to elite.
Regardless of where he ends up, the following teams are where he should be come signing day.
5. Cleveland Browns
According to Shawn Zobel of Draft Headquarters, the Cleveland Browns are interested in signing Greg Jennings. This comes after years of going without a true lead receiver.
I'll repeat this stat again at a later time—80 percent of Jennings' 425 career catches have gone for first downs or touchdowns. That's a lead receiver.
With Trent Richardson at running back, the Browns have a borderline elite playmaker to turn to on a consistent basis. The key for them, however, is providing quarterback Brandon Weeden with a quality playmaker at receiver.
Jennings could be that player.
With that being said, Jennings recently told Robert Klemko of USA TODAY Sports that the quality of a team's quarterback is important in his decision. Seeing as Weeden is coming off of a rookie year in which he threw 14 touchdowns to 17 interceptions, that could be an issue.
Even still, Jennings would remain a No. 1 option if he arrived in Cleveland.
4. St. Louis Rams
According to Shawn Zobel of Draft Headquarters, the St. Louis Rams are interested in signing wide receiver Greg Jennings. This should come as no surprise to any team across the league.
The Rams have a potentially elite quarterback in Sam Bradford. Unfortunately, they have been unable to surround him with elite weapons at wide receiver.
Greg Jennings could be the player to change all of that.
The Rams finished 7-8-1 in 2012. They both defeated and tied the San Francisco 49ers and went 3-1 against the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals.
They did so with an 18th-ranked passing attack.
By adding Jennings, St. Louis would instantly improve in their short-to-intermediate game. Jennings could also give them a downfield option that can create the big play.
Paired with 23-year-old Chris Givens and 25-year-old Brandon Gibson, Jennings' veteran leadership could propel the Rams to the postseason.
3. Minnesota Vikings
As it presently stands, Jerome Simpson is the top wide receiver on the team's depth chart.
With this in mind, one has to believe that Jennings would be Minnesota's No. 1 option. That's something that few postseason contenders can offer him.
Absolutely [I consider Minnesota an option]. All other 31 teams are an option when it comes to being able to have an occupation and play the game. I love to play.”
If he wants to play, Minnesota is an ideal destination.
Quarterback Christian Ponder struggles with the deep ball, but he has displayed a capability in the intermediate game. That is exactly where Jennings could thrive as he opens up the field for the NFL's reigning MVP, Adrian Peterson.
With AP shouldering a bulk of the touches, Jennings can step in to make opportunistic plays. As a player who thrives in moving the chains and scoring touchdowns, the former Packer would certainly be welcomed.
At this point, anyone would.
2. Indianapolis Colts
Per Shawn Zobel of Draft Headquarters, the Indianapolis Colts are one of five teams interested in wide receiver Greg Jennings. Colts beat writer Mike Chappell reports that the the team is not interested.
Even still, the potential of this move makes sense for both sides involved—Andrew Luck and Chuck Pagano are major reasons why.
As previously mentioned, Jennings has made it clear that the quarterback he plays with will play a factor in his decision. As does coaching and the dynamic of the team.
It may sound demanding, but it's rational.
"Coaching means a lot, the dynamic of the team," he told USA TODAY Sports. "To me, the quarterback means a lot, if they have one or not, and I have to make sure my family is comfortable."
Luck is one of the fastest rising quarterbacks in the NFL. Pagano is one of the most inspirational stories and coaches in the league.
How much more of a team dynamic could Jennings be looking for?
1. Cincinnati Bengals
According to Shawn Zobel of Draft Headquarters, one of the teams interested in Greg Jennings is the Cincinnati Bengals. Per NFL.com, the Bengals have the most cap space of any team in the NFL at $55,472,382.
With these financial possibilities in mind, Jennings must be intrigued. For football reasons, the interest should be there, as well.
Cincy has an elite duo with quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green. Both players are entering their third year in the league and each have made at least one Pro Bowl appearance.
More importantly, both Dalton and Green are in dire need of a legitimate second option.
The duo would benefit most from the addition of a receiver who can work the intermediate game and move the chains. It would also be an additional benefit to have a wideout that is a threat in the red zone.
Eighty percent of Jennings' 425 career catches have been for touchdowns or first downs.
Cincinnati would make the leap to elite with this acquisition. In turn, Jennings could compete for his second Super Bowl ring.
Both sides should realize this before it's too late.